Fall is my favorite, favorite time of year and I’ve been so anxious for apple season to start so we could take a trip to the orchard to pick apples [for the obligatory fall scrapbook page photos] and to load the freezer with homemade applesauce.
The library organized a field trip at a new-to-us orchard and the kids were anxious to go, though I think the story of getting there ended up being the adventure. Sigh.
To keep it short I’ll just say that sometimes our GPS has a hard time with directions in these rural rolling hills, and our “tour guide” took us several miles out in the middle of nowhere. By the time I figured it out and we go to the correct destination, we’d missed 15-minutes of the field trip (which in young kids’ time means “the whole thing”). But we were still able to wander the orchard, fill our bags with freshly-picked apples, and of course,
suffer through take a couple of pictures for mommy.
When it was time to go I was carrying three huge bags of apples (note to self: next time take a wagon!) and mother-duck leading my duckies out to the van. I set the bags on the grass near our parking spot, loaded and buckled the littles, and then drove off, satisfied that our “field trip” had been successful, despite delay from the directional mishap.
Half-way home (about 20 miles) one of the girls asked to munch on an apple. And that’s when I realized I’d left $25 worth of freshly picked apples sitting in the parking lot. Over the next two freeway miles I silently prayed and debated over what to do, knowing if I turned around the orchard would be closed when we got there, and the bagged apples might be gone. But I decided to take the chance, got turned around on the freeway, and headed back.
One theme I face daily in this parenting journey is that it’s really, really hard. And though I’ve had personal confirmation that for these four little ones it’s what I’m called to do, there are still many nights I collapse on my bed at night, pleading in my prayers–are you sure I can do this?
Yet through these motherhood experiences I’m continually reminded that there’s a more patient, loving Parent than I, and though I repeatedly whine why–He always answers me in the form of a tender mercy: “very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts.” (More here)
And in this particular case, three bags of forgotten apples, untouched, and right where I’d left them.